DEAD CENTER (Legal Thriller-Wisconsin-Cont) – G
Rosenfelt, David – 5th in series
Mysterious Press, 2006- Hardcover

New Jersey Attorney Andy Carpenter misses his former girlfriend, Laurie Collins. Laurie has moved back to her home town of Findlay, Wisconsin and is acting police chief. Laurie calls and asks Andy to come and defend a college student accused of murdering two girls and burying their bodies behind his house. Andy agrees but finds investigating the case complicated because the girls are from a nearby town. The town is a closed community where all residents are members of a secretive faith, lead by “The Keeper.”

This series is starting to wear a bit thin with me. I love animals but Andy’s relationship with his dog Tara, gets to be a bit much. Andy is supposed to be a brilliant lawyer but often has the street sense and personal self confidence of a doorknob. My other biggest complaint is Rosenfelt’s device of killing off a critical secondary character in each book. It became a cliché of his writing with the last book; now I find myself identifying the “dead” character almost from the beginning. For all that, I’m not ready to give up on the series. I enjoy Rosenfelt’s balance of humor and suspense, his dialogue and very strong sense of place. I just want Mr. Rosenfelt to grow in his writing and be better than he is. In the meantime, I’ll accept the books for what they are—a light, entertaining read.

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